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Theor Appl Genet. 2003 Apr;106(6):1091-101. Epub 2002 Oct 22.

The development of multiplex simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers to complement distinctness, uniformity and stability testing of rape (Brassica napus L.) varieties.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Woodland Road, BS8 1UG, UK.


To assess the potential of multiplex SSR markers for testing distinctness, uniformity and stability of rape (Brassica napus L.) varieties, we developed three multiplex SSR sets composed of five markers each. These were used to measure the extent of diversity within and between a set of ten varieties using a fluorescence-based semi-automated detection technology. Also, we evaluated the significance of any correlation between SSRs, pedigree and five of the morphological characters currently used for statutory distinctness, uniformity and stability testing of rape varieties. An assignment test was allowed to identify 99% of the plants examined, with the correct variety based on the analysis of 48 individual plants for each variety. Principal coordinate analysis confirmed that a high degree of separation between varieties could be achieved. Varieties were separated in three groups corresponding to winter, spring and forage types. These results suggested that it should be possible to select a set of markers for obtaining a suitable separation. Diversity within varieties varied considerably, according to the variety and the locus examined. No significant correlation was found between SSR and morphological data. However, genetic distances measured by SSRs were correlated to pedigree. These results suggested that SSRs could be used for pre-screening or grouping of existing and candidate varieties, allowing the number of varieties that need to be grown for comparison to be reduced. Multiplex SSR sets gave high-throughput reproducible results, thus reducing the costs of SSR assessment. Multiplex SSR sets are a promising way forward for complementing the current variety testing system in B. napus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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